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Salinity nursed

A NEW nursery at Manjimup in the South West will be used in the war against salinity in the State.

The nursery extends a facility operated by the Department of Conservation and Land Management to produce 12.5 million maritime pine plants each year.

There is potential to lift production to 75 million plants a year.

Salinity of cleared farmland and water systems is choking large parts of WA farm land, with more than 1.8 million hectares of land affected.

CALM believes that, if left untreated, the area affected could increase to more than seven million hectares.

The estimated bill to fully repair the damage is estimated to be more than $1 billion.

However, in the WA Government budget handed down in May, only $53.4 million was allocated to help manage sustainablity of forests and fight salinity for the next four years.

CALM, as part of the State Salinity Action Plan, has committed to establishing 500,000 hectares of maritime pine in the 400-600 millimetre rainfall belt in WA at a minimum rate of 15,000 hectares per annum.

The contract for the nursery was awarded to Broad Construction Services in February 1999.

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